Types of CE

Your CE project may see you engage in one or more types of service, or what we refer to at DC as Community Engagement. Though many first think of fund raising of a way of helping others, this is often not the best way to truly address identified needs. Here are the four key types of service learning. Which type would suit your interests or goals?

Direct service. This is where you directly interact with the people, environment or animals that form the target group. Direct service allows you to directly observe your impact. Examples of this face-to-face involvement include coaching a sports team, tree planting as a part of forest restoration or working in an elderly centre.

Indirect service. This type of service involves you in a way that you are not in direct contact with the recipients. Though you may not directly see the community you are supporting, you will still need to be able to communicate with them. Examples of indirect service include developing learning resources to be used by others, redesigning an organization’s website, or creating promotional material for an NGO.

Advocacy. In this type of service you become an advocate for a particular organization or cause in an attempt to change peoples ideas, understanding and behaviours surrounding a particular global issue. Examples of advocacy include campaigning for awareness about human rights, speaking up in the community to prevent a planned development in a local wetland, becoming an ambassador for an NGO, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions.

Research. This type of service would involve you conducting research to report in some way on a significant topic, with the aim of your research to inform and affect guidelines, positions and ideas. The research would involve you collecting, analyzing and synthesizing information from various sources, and putting this together in some form of written, visual or oral report. Examples of research include conducting environmental surveys to influence school policy, contributing to a study of animal migration patterns or investigating sources of marine litter in the local area

More specific examples

Some specific ways to take action include:

  • to raise awareness
  • to participate actively
  • to research
  • to inform others
  • to create/innovate
  • to change behavior
  • to advocate